Farmers opt out of beans after 2018 'disaster'
Beans have the potential to be the most profitable crop tillage farmers could sow this spring, yet merchants have confirmed seed sales remain sluggish.
Farmers appear reluctant to plant beans this year after a "disaster" last year with the weather.
Teagasc tillage specialist Ciaran Collins said indications were that interest in beans remains poor.
"Teagasc figures indicate beans could be the most profitable crop farmers could grow this spring," said Mr Collins, adding there were potential margins of €700/ha.
He urged growers to make their decision based on the five-year yield average of 6t/ha from the CSO figures from 2012 to 2017. Farmers can also avail of a €3m fund to provide a protein payment to incentivise planting.
"They were a disaster last year, there is no question about that," said Mr Collins, but he pointed out that the five-year average showed the crop's potential profit levels.
With a window for sowing from now until around St Patrick's Day, he said companies were offering contract prices for beans, while the price for barley is still not known.
"They have the potential to deliver as good a margin as anything. They are a break crop, which is valuable and a brilliant opportunity for grass weed control as you are using different herbicides," he said.